I have yet to train a young athlete that discussing goals on their first day didn’t list “Going D1”.
Even the athletes who start with us post high school and are lower divisions or junior college, have the primary goal of getting to a D1.
But despite this being a ubiquitous goal, many athletes and their parents lack fundamental information on the recruiting process.
Here’s a few pieces of info:
For NCAA D1 College Baseball, there are 35 roster spots per team, and 11.7 scholarships available.
This is why the vast majority of baseball scholarships are “partials”, typically 65, 40, or 25%. The percent often varies by the year as well: for example, many athletes receive scholarships that end after their 3rd year of college, OR are larger freshman year (ie 65% Fr year, down to 25% Soph/Jr year). The vast majority of baseball scholarships are also tied to a GPA: the athlete must maintain a certain GPA in order to retain their scholarship.
Signing Day for baseball is the second week of November. Baseball athletes can still sign later in the signing period, but as schools available money was used up long ago, signing later than mid November is a glorified walk on.
“Walk On” “Preferred Walk On” “Scholarship”: it doesn’t matter the term, all athletes still have to make the team. Some schools try to keep their numbers right around the 35 roster mark, but the vast majority recruit a decent surplus, as there’s typically run off from academic issues, drug tests, or kids who simply turn out to not be good enough.
Most colleges cuts are made in the late fall prior to the NCAA dead period, offering athletes a transfer path for the spring semester. Some schools however do cut in the spring, the week prior to opening weekend in February.
So how do you get recruited and get offered? Get really good. If you’re good, recruiting takes care of itself. You’ll demonstrate high ability at key events like Area Codes, and your phone will ring regularly with offers.
If you’re not as good, you will need to be more active in your recruiting. Unfortunately it’s at this stage where many athletes end up wasting a lot of time and money.
One way many athletes end up wasting time and money is attending “prospect camps”, which are by and large fundraisers for the college. Camps *can* be a venue to help your recruiting, but ONLY if the coaches KNOW who you are prior, and have been TEXTING or CALLING you prior. If they’re simply emailing you about the camp, they’re not interested. They’re fundraising. If they haven’t been in direct contact with you prior, you’ll be just another face in a sea of faces the assistant coach is running through drills over a weekend to justify the donation you made to the school.
Another waste of time and money: getting a recruiting “service”. If a school is interested in you, they will talk directly to you. There’s no need for a middle man, nor do coaches want to waste their time trying to communicate through a middle man. These recruiting “services” accomplish one thing: sending coaches spam emails that end up in coaches spam folders.
There are several smart ways athletes that aren’t the “upper tier” recruit (the kid who can sit back and be inundated with phone calls and offers), can help their own recruiting. And many of the kids in our facility have successfully gone D1 by taking specific action to help their own recruiting process.
We have had a remarkable track record in producing D1 athletes: 31 athletes have signed scholarship D1 in 7 years. That’s in a facility that I cap the total number of athletes at 35. But our athletes have achieved that success not because they “know someone” or paid for the right “recruiting service”, or “got the right exposure”, but because they worked really hard. And got really good at their sport. Their velocity went way up. Their power went way up. They started stealing bases at will. In other words, they displayed COLLEGE ABILITIES while still in high school, so COLLEGES wanted them.
If you’re not dominating your current level, the next level won’t want you.
It’s that simple to get recruited: get good at your sport. Everything else will take care of itself.